Sunday, October 30, 2016

Padlet Gives Us Teacher Templates & An Easy Way To Remake Padlets Too!

One of my favorite digital tools to use is Padlet!

I use it for collaboration, crowdsourcing, note taking, curating resources and to bring people together during conferences and events.  It is an awesome tools for teachers, students and parents alike.

There have been a few updates to Padlet over the last year too.  One of my favorite is that we can now Remake any Padlet.

In the Padlet at the top, our friends at Padlet have shared several Template Padlets for School that we can Remake and use as our own.

It is easy to do!
Go to the Template Padlets for School

Pick one that you would like to Remake.  Click on the Padlet and you will find Remake in the right hand corner, as circled above.
When you Remake a Padlet you have a few choices.

You can change the Title and Description.  You can also choose What to Copy....either Copy Design or Copy Posts.  

This makes it so easy and fun to use, share and create with Padlet!  I know you will think so too.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

10 Easy Ways To Promote eBooks and eResources In Your Library With MackinVIA!

As we add more and more eBooks and other eResources into our libraries, we need engaging, meaningful and easy ways to promote these to our students, teachers and families throughout the school community.  

There are several things that I did in our library to promote eBooks and eResources.  It took a little creativity and extra time, but it was so fun finding and developing ways to get these into the hands of the students and into the classrooms.  

I have also gathered lots of ideas from other teacher librarians and educators....and of course our friends at Mackin have created so many awesome materials to help us too.  

Let's look at....

1. When we added eBooks to our collection, we had a school wide MackinVIA Day with all of our students in kindergarten through 12th grade, teachers, public librarian and even invited the community.
I created posters and cards with the MackinVIA username and password. I even put a QR code on them so they could scan it to get to the eBooks easily anywhere, anytime.

You can read all about this special day here.
2. I also created a MackinVIA Read Box outside of our library. 
It was filled with eBook covers and screen shots of different databases such as PebbleGo and Tales To Go.  

When they scanned the pictures, book talk videos and trailers would pop up that we put in with an augmented reality tool.   You can read all about the MackinVIA Read Box here
 3.  Mackin has created a whole suite of MackinVIA Promotional Materials.  These are amazing!
 Take a look at what they have created!  There are...
 Table Tents, 
Widgets which I highly recommend you put onto your library and school website, blog and any other online spot for your school,
Posters and more.   You can find all of the MackinVIA Promotional Materials here.
 4.  I wanted to make sure you saw the Custom eBook Shelf Markers.  There are a great way to communicate to your students that the print title they find on the shelf is also available as an eBook.

Mackin will even create a custom collection of shelf markers for your library or... can create your own too with the templates they provide.  
I love what my friend Heather Lister did in her library with the shelf markers!  They put their eBook shelf markers on key rings and gave a set to every classroom! 

5. In MackinVIA, you can create Groups that can contain any of the eBooks, databases, links to websites and online resources, audiobooks and videos that you have within your library account.

I made Groups focused around many things. Take a look at the Groups within my MackinVIA above.
One of my favorite things to do within MackinVIA was to create Groups focused around different times of the year. This one is the Summer Reading Group I created. You can add of the resources within your MackinVIA to a Group.
We even focused our entire summer reading program around the eBooks we had in our MackinVIA one year. The kids really enjoyed this because they all had unlimited, 24/7 simultaneous access to all of the digital resources.

You can read about our MackinVIA Summer Reading Program here.
6. Students will love their very own digital backpack in MackinVIA.

This will give them a place to connect to eBooks and eResources they are passionate about in Favorites, while keeping track of Assignments from teachers too.
My son Hagan uses his MackinVIA Backpack to keep eBooks about sports...his favorite thing to read about.  He even included the database Inside the NFL.  
To help my students remember their MackinVIA username and password, I created little cards for them to take home and keep at school.  You can find the post and cards here.
7. Nancy Jo Lambert, Teacher Librarian at Reedy High School in Frisco, Texas has done awesome things with her eBooks and eResources within their MackinVIA.

I love how she made a MackinVIA Help Videos Group and then created videos using a screen casting tool.
Here is one she created for her teachers. It is so helpful for the MackinVIA Help Videos to be included within their MackinVIA so they have all of the resources available in one spot. They know they have the support they need.
8.  I also created QR codes that I put into the front of the books we had which had eBooks too.  Now Mackin has created Book Cover Labels that you can customize for your books too.  When the students see these, they will be interested in seeing the eBooks too. 

9. One more thing you will find in the MackinVIA Promotional Materials are the Literacy Lesson Plans. These were created my Mackin's professional classroom team and are a meaningful way to use eBooks and eResources with your students.

 10. One place you will want to bookmark and share with everyone is  This is where you can get help from Mackin by asking a question in the May We Help You? search bar,
 browsing through the different help topics and...
finding a MackinVIA Video to answer the questions you have.  The videos can be found here
To gather even more ideas on promoting eBooks and eResources in your library, I have created this Padlet that others have been adding their ideas to.

Just click here and it will take you to all of these ideas like...
I can't wait to see what people add next!  
And I can't wait to hear how you get your students hooked on eBooks and eResources by promoting your digital collection too!  

You can find out about MackinVIA here.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Posters, Posters, Posters From Storyboard That....With A Free EPIC HERO Poster Just For You!

Last week I received a special surprise from my friends at Storyboard That!  

It was a set of their new posters and they are awesome!

There are several currently available including...
 Epic Hero, 
 Plot Diagram, 
 The Heroic Journey and...
...Literacy Conflict. 

Since I posted these pictures on Instagram, there have been lots of questions on how you get these posters too.  
You will go to Storyboard That's Teachers Pay Teachers page here. 
The posters are available to download and... can get a FREE DOWNLOAD of the Epic Hero Poster here!  

Once you download them, a great place to get these printed is Overnight Prints at
In their Teachers Pay Teachers, Storyboard That has done an amazing job bringing together more materials to support their content...
and our classrooms and students too.  

You will find all of this, plus so much more at

If you are new to Storyboard That, you are going to want to check it out!  So sign up for a free 2-week trial here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bring Loud To Your Library By Watching The Capstone & Cantata Learning Free Recorded Webinar Today!

Are you looking for ways to enhance your library instruction that activates multiple senses, deepens understanding, and increases student engagement?

Well look no further...We have the perfect place to start!
It is the LOUD LIBRARIES webinar from Cantata Learning and Capstone that took place on October 24th.

I had the honor of presenting this fun webinar and showcasing 12 easy ways to incorporate music into your library instruction and collection.
You will love this 30 minute, fun, face paced webinar filled with reasons for bringing music into the library, ways to do this and tons of resources for you to use today!

By clicking on this link, you can watch this webinar and bring LOUD to your library through music too!